When talking about 6A football for a preview in Oklahoma, it's hard not to round up the "usual suspects."
After all, Jenks and Union met for the fourth-straight season in the state championship game last year.
Will this finally be the year a team is able to shake things up and oust one of the two for a spot in the big game? Find out everything you need to know with News9.com and NewsOn6.com's 6A preview.
What Happened Last Year
Eight times the state of Oklahoma has seen the Jenks Trojans and the Union Redskins face off for a state championship, but none of them have been as exciting as the 2010 game.
Jenks set the stage by demolishing Union 33-7 in the second game of the season. The Trojans rolled through the playoffs with little resistance, topping Bixby and Lawton-Ike before dropping 75 points on Owasso in the semifinals.
Union took down Muskogee and Edmond North before squeaking past Lawton 48-41 in its semifinal game.
The momentum, including the psychological advantage from the previous big win against the Redskins, was all in Jenks' favor. Trailing 47-44 with three minutes to play, Union drove the length of the field and capped it off with a trick play. Wide receiver Stephon Weaver completed his first pass of the season to stun the Trojans and bring home a 50-47 victory and a gold ball.
Players to Watch
Alex Ross, RB, Jenks – Nearly everyone in the state knows his name at this point, but that doesn't make him any less of an impressive sight to see in person. Ross racked up 28 touchdowns and 1,656 yards this past season on his way to All-State honors. Ross is a burst of open speed when he hits a hole, but could put some major muscle on his frame by the time he sees the field at OU.
Donovan Roberts, RB, Norman – While Ross is likely the stud running back in 6A, Roberts is not far behind. Roberts committed to Arkansas this past April and is ranked among the top 25 running backs in the nation and the fourth-best player in the state regardless of position by recruiting service Scout.com. His 5-foot-11, 185-pound frame isn't the most impressive on paper, but he makes up for it with incredible balance and tackle-breaking ability.
Daniel Burton, OL, Putnam City North – Burton is undecided on his college, but could be holding out to see if he gets an offer from OU, OSU or Tulsa. At 6-foot-4, 270 pounds, Burton has the potential to put on plenty more muscle and weight before college. His only current major offer is from the Arizona Wildcats, but the in-state schools will be able to get a much better feel for his game as the season progresses.
Games to Watch
Sept. 9 – Tulsa Union at Jenks – Is there any other choice for an obvious top spot on games to watch? Several other teams attempt to break into the top tier each season, but in the end it usually tends to come down to the same two teams for football supremacy in the state. This is an early game, so all hope is not lost for the losing team. Keep in mind that Union got smoked by the Trojans in the second game of last season, then came back to beat them and win it all.
Nov. 4 – Jenks at Norman – The timing of this one is everything. Norman has the potential to be either undefeated or come into the game with just one mark in the loss column. This one could have a huge impact on district standings, playoffs and momentum heading into the postseason. Also, look for the showdown of two of the best running backs in the state, Alex Ross of Jenks and Donovan Roberts of Norman. Not many players gave Jenks a lot of trouble last season, but Donovan Roberts was one of those players.
Oct. 21 – Lawton at Edmond North – Not every big game has to involve Jenks or Union. While the east side of the state has dominated in recent years, this one could produce some exciting results for the west. Lawton came close in the state semifinals last year and has a good nucleus returning to make another run, but is missing a couple of key players. Edmond North could be one of the underdogs to make a run in this year's playoffs.
Early Look Top Five
3. Broken Arrow
4. Midwest City